- Associated Press - Friday, November 25, 2016

CANCUN, Mexico (AP) - Jordin Canada made the plays down the stretch to lead UCLA to another win.

Canada scored 27 points and to lead the ninth-ranked Bruins to a 75-73 victory over Toledo on Friday in the Cancun Challenge.

With the game tied at 68, Canada hit consecutive baskets, including a spinning shot with 51 seconds left.

“I was trying to get a shot off,” Canada said. “I picked up my dribble so she was pressuring me. Luckily when I did the spin I was open for the shot.”

Trailing by 14 points at the half, Toledo (4-1) cut it to 74-73 with 32 seconds left on Mariella Santucci’s 3-pointer. When Canada missed a shot with 3 seconds left, Monique Billings was there for the rebound and she was fouled. She hit the second of two free throws and the Rockets couldn’t get a tying shot off.

Billings finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins (5-1).

“They are a great team. They gave us all they had,” Canada said. “We started out well, getting a lot of stops. Up at the half and they came back. … We found a way to win which is the most important thing.

Santucci and Janice Monakana scored 16 points each for Toledo.

“I’m very proud of my team’s effort,” Toledo head coach Tricia Cullop said. “They never gave up, and we gave ourselves a chance to extend the game at the end. We have nothing to hold our head down about. We played toe-to-toe with a very talented, nationally ranked team.”

Trailing by one midway through the first quarter, UCLA closed the opening period with a 14-5 run spurred by Kari Korver’s two 3-pointers. The Rockets got within 24-19 before Canada scored the final 11 points for the Bruins before the half, including two 3-pointers, to give UCLA a 38-24 lead.

“We went up 16 and we weren’t tough enough to close it,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “If we’re going to be a great team we’re going to have to learn to do that.”

BIG PICTURE:

Toledo: The Rockets started the season with four consecutive wins for the first time since 1996-97. UT has started a season 3-0 on four occasions in school history.

UCLA: The Bruins have a challenging schedule ahead with a game against Michigan in early December before visiting No. 3 South Carolina at the end of next month.

BOMBS AWAY:

Toledo was able to hang around hitting 12 of its 25 3-point attempts.

UP NEXT:

Toledo: The Rockets host Illinois Chicago on Thursday.

UCLA: The Bruins have a week off before hosting Hawaii on Sunday, Dec. 4.

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